Brow Beat

Jim Carrey and Alessandra Mussolini—Benito Mussolini’s Granddaughter—Are Feuding on Twitter

Jim Carrey attending the Golden Globe awards.
Much to think about.
Frazer Harrison/AFP/Getty Images

Italian politician Alessandra Mussolini—former rising star of the Italian neo-Fascist movement of the 1990s, Sophia Loren’s niece, and, oh yeah, Benito Mussolini’s granddaughter—has spent the last 14 hours or so tweeting angrily at or about actor Jim Carrey, the star of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Although Carrey hasn’t yet responded to Mussolini’s tweetstorm, he fired the first shot, in the sense that it was one of his tweets that set Mussolini off. In another sense, however, Italian partisan Walter Audisio fired the first shot, because Carrey tweeted out a drawing he’d made of the body of Alessandra Mussolini’s grandfather, who, again, was Benito Mussolini, hanging upside down in the Piazzale Loreto after Walter shot him. Here’s Carrey’s latest artwork, after a photograph by Vincenzo Carrese:

It’s easy to see why Mussolini was upset: No one wants to see their grandfather hanging upside down from the superstructure of an Esso station, and no one wants to see their grandfather in a Jim Carrey drawing. (On the other hand, at least he didn’t use the morgue photo as a model.) Mussolini’s first response was a model of concision:

But Mussolini is famously touchy about her grandfather, and a single tweet wasn’t enough to make her point. Carrey should have known what he was getting into: Last October, Mussolini tweeted that she had lawyers reviewing “politically correct” social media users that said offensive things about her grandfather—one more time, that grandfather is Benito “Manifesto della razza” Mussolini—and would report them to the police.

It’s not clear, though, which police would have jurisdiction in a case where a Canadian-born, naturalized American citizen drew a mean picture of the hilariously pompous sawdust Caesar who brought Italy to ruin. Perhaps this occurred to Mussolini as well, because, in a classic “worst person you know just made a great point” moment, she followed her tweet with a series of reminders of American atrocities:

It doesn’t really matter, but the next-to-last image, presumably supposed to represent slavery in the United States, actually depicts a whipping post in Delaware. (It’s possible Mussolini has strong feelings about criminal justice reform in Delaware during the 1970s—yes, the 1970s—but it seems unlikely.) Mussolini then went on to reply to the people dunking on her on Twitter for hours, stopping briefly to declare victory and claim she was stepping away:

After promising she was done tweeting, Mussolini then sent more than 50 additional tweets on the matter, a move experts call the “Bret Stephens.” Incidentally, I mentioned earlier that Carrey had become a U.S. citizen because it is very important to Mussolini that no one let him off the hook for the United States’ sins on the grounds that he is Canadian, as just a brief sampling of her many tweets on that important issue show:

Mussolini eventually bowed out after saying that, although she wasn’t sure if American anti-fascists were more annoying than Italian ones, they were definitely touchier:

Anyway, it has doubtless been a difficult day for Alessandra Mussolini, who resigned from Italy’s National Alliance when their leader referred to the days of Benito Mussolini’s rule as “shameful pages in history.” Maybe some home movies would cheer her up. Here, for instance, is her grandfather throwing a big party for an old family friend:

What a charmer! Nevertheless, it’s got to be traumatic to be confronted with a graphic depiction of your grandfather’s corpse, no matter how many other people’s grandfathers and fathers and sons and daughters and mothers and grandmothers your grandfather turned into corpses. We need a more tasteful and considerate way to express disapproval of this long-dead madman without insulting his very-much-alive-and-currently-serving-in-the-European-Parliament granddaughter. That’s why I’m drawing your attention to this 1942 Pathé newsreel in which a bust of Mussolini gets crushed flat as a pancake. The bronze makes an impressive farting sound while the crusher does its thing:

It’d be even better with a soundtrack.

Correction, March 31, 2019: This post originally misspelled actress Sophia Loren’s last name.